Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp: Our full report

8 rooms
Traveller's rating
Excellent (100%) From 11 reviews
All year

Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp is an exciting and relatively new camp, which opened in August 2014, in the Hoanib River Valley, in northern Damaraland. It is surrounded by gravel plains, mountains and large yellow sand dunes. Although it's not actually on the Skeleton Coast, the camp is situated in a private concession (similar to a reserve) area which straddles the Palmwag area and Skeleton Coast National Park. Consequently this camp is being viewed by name as a successor to the Skeleton Coast Camp, which is now closed.

In a location where a camp used to exist, it will be a comfortable camp of simple classic design, with the main focus being on the experience rather that the camp itself.

There are eight rooms planned, seven of them standard twin or double rooms, and one family room.

Each of the seven en-suite standard rooms will sleep up to two travellers and is said to come with a shaded outdoor lounge. The family room will have two bedrooms, accommodating a maximum of four guests. We understand that it will also have access to a communal outside lounge.

We’re told that the main areas will include a dining room, inside and outside lounge areas, a bar, a library and a plunge pool.

The scenery in this area is stunning – stark, rugged beauty traversed by a linear oasis that is the ephemeral Hoanib River. Normally a sand river, it flows only when heavy rains hit its catchment area. However there is always subterranean water, plus some springs, which ensure vegetation grows along the river course. This water and food supply, in turn, attracts the desert animals that live in this region. These include a relatively large number of desert adapted elephant, plus lion, giraffe, and plains game such as Hartmann's mountain zebra, gemsbok and springbok. Hence Hoanib Camp should offer a really special wildlife experience in this harsh environment of the Namib desert.

It's proximity to the Skeleton Coast National Park will also afford it great access to this remote and inhospitable part of Namibia. Very few people get to this area and its pretty unique – vast dunes fields, gravel plains with delicate lichen fields, wind-swept beaches, cape fur seals and shipwrecks – there is nowhere else like it. Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp will be a very convenient base to explore this region.

Activities from Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp will probably include some, if not all, of the following - with specifics still to be determined; 4WD game drives; trips to Mudarob spring (a great spot to view elephant!); trips into the previously restricted area of the Hoanib floodplains (within the Skeleton Coast National Park); and presentations from wildlife researchers in camp.
We’re told that if you stay for at least three nights, a full day excursion with a picnic lunch will also be included. For this, you’ll take a scenic flight to Mowe Bay where to explore the coast, e.g. going fishing or visiting a seal colony. Please note that the flights are dependent on weather conditions and hence the camp might need to change plans occasionally.

With such clear skies in Namibia, Hoanib Camp is a super place to star-gaze, have dinner al fresco in the dunes and have sleep outs too. Another possible excursion would be to visit a Himba village to learn more about their culture and seemingly unchanged way of life.

Our view

This camp won't be for the budget conscious. However, we think that the truly remote location and superb wildlife experience you're likely to find is worth the money. Tracking desert-adapted elephant and spending time in the Skeleton Coast National Park will be amongst the highlights here.

Watch this space for further information.


Location: Skeleton Coast & Kaokoland, Namibia

Ideal length of stay: Two to three nights

Directions: Hoanib Camp will only be accessible by light aircraft transfer from Doro Nawas. Travellers on self-drive through Namibia will need to park their vehicle at Doro Nawas and then fly in to Hoanib.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

Owner: Wilderness Safaris

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Full Board


Health & safety

Dangerous animals: High Risk